We have now entered the season for resolutions, ambitious health goals and renewed gym memberships - but what about our old enemy stress? We all know it affects our thoughts and feelings, but few of us realise the disastrous impact it also has on our mind and body.
Thankfully, both anxiety & stress can be combated with smart changes to our everyday diet. This is because under periods of pressure our body experiences a rising demand for key nutrients which influence our ability to handle stress.
The problem is, when faced with mounting pressure at work or at home, most of us fall victim to our cravings and head for the quick energy fixes like coffee and carbs and not what our system really needs - high doses of mother nature’s beautiful super-foods.
Adding a few of these to your daily diet can produce incredible results - so here’s 5 to get you started on your journey to a more zen 2019. We are also hosting a free live webinar on Wednesday 30th January on Super-foods for the Super-busy - you can sign-up here.
A complex carbohydrate which delivers good levels of fibre and tryptophan, lentils are certainly a food to lean on during times of stress. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin which promotes feelings of wellbeing, relaxation and supports sleep.
Its derivative, 5-hydroxytryptophan, may improve our capacity to respond to stress and prevent or reduce the effect stress can have on our mood. Fibre slows the release of glucose and serotonin-enhancing chemicals into our system keeping our energy and outlook buoyant throughout tough times.
High in vitamin C red peppers are a food which can help us normalise levels of cortisol, the stress response hormone. Vitamin C helps us to recovery more quickly from emotional and physical challenges and stress is known to actively deplete this nutrient.
While ensuring we eat a balanced diet to maintain a healthy nutritional baseline, vitamin C is something you may want to consider supplementing. A study on marathon runners showed that those on a dose of 1500mg per day showed more rapid cortisol recovery than those given 500mg or a placebo.
A great source of B vitamins and essential fatty acids which maintain the health of the nervous system. Eating foods high in these nutrients may help to prevent stress-related symptoms such as irritability, low energy and depression. Avocados are also particularly potent source of B5 - also known as the ‘anti-stress vitamin’ - which supports the adrenal glands, the system which governs the stress response.
Rich in magnesium and easy to incorporate as a snack, on porridge or as a crunchy salad topper, pumpkin seeds are an effortless stress support food. Stress hormones stimulate magnesium loss from cells while simultaneously increasing urinary excretion.
Since magnesium is a natural relaxant as well as being a vital nutrient in the energy creation process, feeding your body with a regular supply of this nutrient will give you an enhanced ability to cope with any challenges.
A herbal tea, high in antioxidants which protect against stress-induced free radical damage. Greek Mountain tea has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain while reducing anxiety and improving attention levels. A naturally caffeine-free means of maintaining your hydration this is a no-brainer for those who want to maintain laser-like focus and a clear head under pressure.
Join us for our free 30 minute webinar on Super-foods for the Super-busy on the Wednesday 30th January, at 1.30pm. This workshop will explore the ‘everyday’ as well as the ‘exotic’ super-foods you can incorporate into your diet to supercharge your energy resources and bring the body back to equilibrium, ready to power through your day. Book your slot here.